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LBJ board selects new Chief Medical Officer from three applicants

Dr. Jean Anderson

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The LBJ Board of directors has selected Dr Joseph Shumway as the hospital’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO).

He was one of the three applicants that applied for the position. This was confirmed by Vice Chair of the LBJ board, Dr Jean Anderson in response to Samoa News questions. 

Dr Shumway was appointed as Acting CMO earlier this month after former CMO, Dr Ledua Akapusi was made Acting CEO when Moefa’auo Bill Emmsley resigned from his position.

 “Following the interview of all three candidates, a motion was passed and seconded to vote and all Directors that were present voted for Dr. Shumway.”

Faipule Faimealelei Anthony Allen told the media that he was not part of the selection of the new CMO as indicated by Dr Anderson in an earlier press release that cited it was a “unanimous” decision by the board.

In her correction Dr. Anderson wrote, “After reviewing the notes from our Board meeting and the CMO interviews, it was noted that all five Board Directors were present for the Board meeting and the interview of Dr. Shumway.”

Dr. Shumway was interviewed first by all 5 Board Directors as well as Acting CEO and a Nurse representing the Director of Nursing.

“Both Faimealelei and Director Talifa asked to be excused for the interviewing of the other two applicants.

 “I apologize that I should have specified the Board of Directors that remained after the interviews [cast] their votes and it was an unanimous decision by those that were present.”

Dr. Shumway was appointed for LBJ CMO for the next three years and six months.

According to Dr. Anderson, Dr Shumway was earlier identified as a medical professional that could help LBJ in multiple capacities, as a board certified OBGYN physician, consultant and potential CMO (if no local applicants were found to be equally qualified).

“Given this, Dr. Shumway was asked to come to American Samoa and assist the Board and LBJ Executive Team in executive improvements efforts both at the administrative and medical level.

“If Dr. Shumway was not chosen to be LBJ CMO, the Board and LBJ Executive Team would have utilized Dr. Shumway as a physician and consultant given his physician board credentials and experience starting up and managing hospitals, not only in the US, but globally.

“Although there were no equally qualified local applicants at this time, the Board and LBJ Executive Team have established a succession plan to train and develop a local Samoan physician who can serve as CMO in the next 3 years.”

Dr Anderson said the Board and LBJ Executive Team will be working with the local LBJ Medical Executive Committee and local physicians to identify the most qualified local physician who can undergo mentoring, training and development in healthcare leadership and executive management.

“In the next 3 years, prior to the completion of Dr. Shumway's contract as CMO, the LBJ Board and Executive Team will work closely with the local physician (future CMO) to develop a plan to develop his/her skills as a healthcare executive and clinical leader to the entire LBJ medical and nursing staff.

“Within the next 3 years, Dr. Shumway is committed to working with this potential CMO and other local physicians to develop their skills in healthcare management and executive leadership.

 “Upon completion of Dr. Shumway's contract as CMO in 3 years and 6 months, it is the hope of the Board that this local physician can then step in as Chief Medical Officer with the necessary credentials as a physician, but also training and credentials in healthcare executive management and leadership.”

Dr Anderson said the Board is grateful to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor for their trust in the current LBJ Board and in the decisions being made to build a solid leadership team at LBJ with both local and foreign physicians and leaders.